Senate Republicans Cut Off Debate on HB 177

Molly Cowan,  Senate Democratic Policy Director

 CONCORD – Despite lengthy testimony from homeowners pleading for strengthened laws against unscrupulous home improvement contractors, New Hampshire’s Republican Senate Majority today voted to support a contractor version of HB 177, granting new judicial authority to prosecute homeowners.

The original version of HB 177, which passed the New Hampshire House, included contract agreements and added consumer protection to the citizens of New Hampshire.

"Instead of following recommendations of the study committee on HB 177, the Senate majority tabled the bill which included House supported changes further clarifying homeowner and contractor obligations and rights. A motion to table effectively killed the bill for the year," stated Sen. Sylvia Larsen, Senate Democratic Leader. “The Senate Democrats sought to introduce a floor amendment, which would have protected New Hampshire citizens. Instead, we’ve ended up with no improvement for homeowners hurt by contractor scams.”

“This legislation was intended to provide assistance to home owners against unscrupulous home contractors set on scamming New Hampshire citizens out of money,” said Sen. Peter Burling, D-Dist. 5. “Instead, thanks to the efforts of the Republican State Senators, New Hampshire citizens will not have valuable protection that would have been provided under the amended bill.”